LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Agenda For Commission Meeting

Release Date: 09/28/2011

September 28, 2011-The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, October 6, 2011, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of September 1, 2011

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/September

5.  To consider 2012 Turkey Hunting Areas, Seasons and Bag Limits: Consideration of Conditionally Adopted Amendments to Notice of Intent and   Consideration of Amended Notice of Intent

6.  To consider General and WMA Turkey Hunting Regulations: Consideration of Conditionally Adopted Amendments to Notice of Intent and Consideration of   Amended Notice of Intent

7.  To consider Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

8.  Set February 2012 Meeting Date

9.  Receive Public Comments

10.  Adjournment

 

 

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

Release Date: 09/27/2011

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

Regular Meeting Agenda

September 28, 2011

1 p.m.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

I.  Call to order

II. Reading and approval of minutes

III. Reports

A.      Executive Director’s Report

B.      Treasurer’s Report

C.      Finance Committee Report

D.     Sponsorship Committee Report

  IV.  Old Business

A.      3-year Seafood Marketing Campaign

B.      National Seafood Marketing Coalition - Alan

C.      Brussels overview

D.     Development of Policy and Procedure Workshop

E.      By laws - Kim

 V.  New Business

A.      Officer election protocol – Kim

B.      Thomas Hymel of Louisiana Direct - Kim

VI. Set Next Meeting(s)

VII. Adjourn

 

 

Baton Rouge Man Arrested for Boating Violations

Release Date: 09/27/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Baton Rouge man on Sept. 26 for his alleged involvement in a boating crash incident on the Amite River Diversion Canal.

Agents arrested Jack Riffle, 41, on four counts of first-degree negligent injury, driving or operating a boat while intoxicated (DWI) and reckless operation of a moving vessel and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail.  Riffle was the operator of a 19-foot vessel that struck and was lodged under a pier in the Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish on Aug. 27 that left all five occupants with moderate to serious injuries.

Passengers on the boat were Elizabeth Riffle, 44, wife of Jack Riffle, their 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son, and Chico Garcia, 29, all of Baton Rouge.

LDWF agents responded to a report of a boating crash incident at 7 p.m.  Agents immediately summoned emergency medical responders and began removing debris in order to access and provide basic first-aid to the injured until the advanced medical responders were able to arrive.

Jack Riffle submitted to a blood sample following the boating crash incident, which allegedly showed that he was over the .08 blood alcohol concentration legal limit.

First-degree negligent injury brings up to a $2,000 fine and up to five years in jail for each offense.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Reckless operation of a moving vessel brings up to a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents involved in the response and investigation were Sgt. Todd Lewis, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Agent Terry Hicks and Agent Dale Wheat.

For more information contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Team Pale Horse Takes Home Top Prize in First Annual Louisiana Saltwater Series Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout

Release Date: 09/27/2011

Captain Kevin Beech, Jordan Ellis, Ryan Ducote, Josh Cain, Jody Bondurat, Jacob Gauthier, Hevitt Gauthier and Bronson Giroward.

(Sept. 27, 2011)- This year marked the first annual Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, as part of its Louisiana Saltwater Series.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series tournaments have helped to create awareness and increase participation in tag-and-release fishing by offering a competitive outlet for conservation-minded anglers and captains. 

The Department is committed to increasing the number of tagged yellowfin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico.  The new tuna tagging program will provide baseline information for the population models used to assess the health of the stock of this valuable fishery.

“There is no fishing experience like catching a yellowfin tuna,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We wanted to combine this experience with some fun competition between anglers who understand and enjoy the fishery, but are also interested in supporting the Department in our conservation-based efforts.”

A total of six tags were deployed at this weekend’s tournament.  The tags will be used to provide information about their movements, migrations, stock structure, growth, population size, mortality, schooling behavior, and physiology. 

The tournament offered three competitive categories: a tagging division, chartered boat division and weighed fish division. 

The total number of tagged fish determined the winner of the tagging division, going to the charted boat Pale Horse, with a winning total of two tagged yellowfin.  Team members included Captain Kevin Beech, Jordan Ellis, Ryan Ducote, Josh Cain, Jody Bondurat, Jacob Gauthier, Hevitt Gauthier and Bronson Giroward.  Pale Horse also took swept the chartered boat division, earning them an overall cash prize of $8,000.

The boat Hooked Up showed up to the scales with a 145-pound yellowfin, earning them first prize in the weighed fish division.  Team members include Captain Dane Mitchell, Ryan Parham, Patrick Fitzmorris, John Lane and Jeff Barger.   The team took home an offshore tackle package valued at $3,000.

LDWF would like to thank its many partners and sponsors for making this tournament a great success, including Venice Marina, which served as host site for the tournament and provided food to all participating anglers. 

Information about the 2012 Louisiana Saltwater Series will soon be available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

If you are a recreational fishermen, please consider signing up for the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program.   The program is open to all species, with some of the more common being redfish and speckled trout. Through this program, volunteer anglers provide information that is difficult, often impossible, and expensive to obtain by other means.   For additional information, interested anglers can contact fishtagging@ccalouisiana.com.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

 

MONDAY: LDWF to Begin Accepting Lake Calcasieu Oyster Permit Applications

Release Date: 09/23/2011

September 23, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds interested oyster harvesters that Lake Calcasieu oyster permit applications will begin being accepted at 9 a.m., Monday, September 26.  Applications may be submitted online only.

To view a sample application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/image/sample-application-calcasieu-lake-oyster-permits

For more information on the Lake Calcasieu oyster permit application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/calcasieu-lake-oyster-harvester-permit

For questions concerning the application process, contact Cole Garrett at cgarrett@wlf.la.gov.

As required by Act 329 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session, anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Lake Calcasieu must have one of 126 special Oyster Harvester Permits issued by LDWF. 

Of the 126 permits available, 63 will be issued exclusively to eligible fishermen who have historically harvested in Lake Calcasieu since January 1, 2001.  The remaining 63 permits will be issued to any person who is otherwise eligible.

Permits will be valid for a period of one year beginning October 1, of a given year and ending September 30, of the following year.  Applicants are required to hold a current and valid commercial fishing license and oyster harvester license.

At its September meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011 limit at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day at Lake Calcasieu.  Only the portion of the Lake known as West Cove will be open for harvest.  The season is set to open on November 1st.

Applications for permits will be available exclusively online on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website (www.wlf.louisiana.gov).  Permits will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis, determined by the order in which completed applications are submitted through the LDWF website.  Online submission is the ONLY acceptable method to submit completed applications.

Completed applications will be reviewed by LDWF and permits will be issued prior to the opening of the oyster harvest season in Lake Calcasieu West Cove.

Harvesters will be required to reapply on the last Monday of September each year.

A completed application consists of the following information:  applicant’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, commercial license number, and oyster harvester license number.

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24

Release Date: 09/22/2011

LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24
LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24
LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24

Sept. 22, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host its annual celebrations of National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals on Saturday, Sept. 24.  LDWF invites citizens of all ages to attend these free events and enjoy time outside with family and friends. There are four events held across the state in Baton Rouge, Monroe, Minden and Woodworth.  Admission is free at all four locations with a wide variety of activities to enjoy.

“These events offer the best opportunities for our citizens to experience first hand what Louisiana offers in recreational outdoor sports,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "Hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports are fun, healthy activities for everyone, from the toddler to the grandparent.  We offer something for everyone at National Hunting and Fishing Day.”

Admission is free at all locations.  Some of the demonstrations include bow-hunting, fly-casting and tying, bait casting, Labrador retrieving, falconry and cannon nets (capturing wildlife.) The activities include skeet shooting, air rifles, canoeing, fishing, youth fishing contest and much more. Many of the education displays include live animals. The Baton Rouge event will include a 1400-gallon aquarium. 

There is great local food at all locations.  At the Baton Rouge event, local chefs are preparing seafood and wild game.  Chef Celeste Gill, Chef James Window and the Louisiana Culinary Institute will be on hand preparing shrimp, catfish, wild boar and venison for everyone to taste. 

To find out more about National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festival in your area, visit LDWF at www.wlf.louisiana.gov or contact one of the LDWF offices listed below.   To watch the 2011 National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festival video click here!

Baton Rouge

Waddill Outdoor Education Center

4142 N. Flannery Road

(225)765-2800


 

Minden

Bodcau Wildlife Management Area


1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.


Haughton, LA.  71037


(318) 371-3050

 

Monroe

LDWF District 2 Office


368 Centurylink Dr.


Monroe, LA.  71203


(318) 343-4044

 

Woodworth

Woodworth Outdoor Education Center


661 Robinson Bridge Rd.


Woodworth, LA.  71485


(318) 484-2212

 

LDWF Enforcement Division First Agency to Earn BOAT Accreditation

Release Date: 09/22/2011

(From left to right: NASBLA Executive Director John Johnson, NASBLA President James Graybeal, LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, LDWF Lt.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is the first agency in the United States to earn national accreditation in the Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program administered by the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

During a ceremony in Milwaukee, Wis. at NASBLA’s Annual Conference, NASBLA’s President Jim Graybeal presented LDWF’s Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne and Lt. Spencer Cole with the formal Accreditation Certificate.

According to NASBLA.org, the BOAT program establishes a national standard for the training and qualification of maritime law enforcement and rescue personnel.  Adoption and implementation of the BOAT program provides a true national standard for the purpose of maritime interoperability at the federal, state and local levels.  Standardization ensures maritime agencies can interact together and will bolster their ability to act as force multipliers nationwide.

"Agencies who choose to adopt this national standard of training can assure their ability to conduct missions on our nation’s waterways safely and effectively and operate seamlessly with their federal, state and local partners on the water," said John Fetterman, NASBLA's Director of Law Enforcement.  "Congratulations go to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries for being the first accredited state agency in our BOAT program, which other states will use as a model of success."

The LDWF Enforcement Division is the first agency to implement the BOAT standard in all aspects of operations and training including cadet training at the academy level and training of partners throughout the state across all jurisdictions.  The BOAT program will enhance LDWF's training plans in the areas of basic crewmember, boat operator for search and rescue and tactical operations.

"This is a significant achievement for the department as we work with the U.S. Coast Guard, State Police and local authorities daily in patrolling our local waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's Boating Law Administrator.  "This training program allows every enforcement agency responsible for securing and providing safe passage on our waterways to train together and be on the same page during natural disasters and maritime security threats."

The LDWF Enforcement Division is an active participant in Louisiana's Homeland Security Plan and represents the state in waterborne emergencies.  Through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, LDWF is the lead agency for search and rescue operations during natural disasters and maritime security of Louisiana's vital business and government interests along the coast and major rivers.

As members of the Governor's Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Area Maritime Security Executive Steering Committee and all major port security committees within the state, LDWF Law Enforcement Division agents frequently respond to requests to deploy LDWF marine resources for security concerns.

The LDWF Enforcement Division's specialized training and equipment and its ability to operate throughout the state's vast maze of waterways and wild areas has complemented Louisiana's ability to respond to emergencies on the water.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Join L.D.W.F. For F.U.N. Camp Oct. 7 - 9

Release Date: 09/22/2011

Sept. 22, 2011-- "FUN Camp" is a weekend adventure of outdoor fun for a parent and child designed to help Families Understand Nature. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is offering a mother-child FUN Camp from Oct. 7 through 9 to educate participants about Louisiana's wildlife resources.

The fall FUN Camp, scheduled at LDWF’s Woodworth Outdoor Education Facility, is for mothers and children (boys or girls) age 10-13.  Activities include fishing, canoeing, shooting, hiking and archery.  The program goals for participants include developing a greater appreciation for the outdoors, becoming comfortable in an outdoor environment and having fun.

Mothers and children will arrive Friday evening by 7 p.m. at Woodworth Outdoor Education Facility, 661 Robinson Bridge Road, Woodworth, LA 71485.  All participants go camping Saturday night with tents and cooking gear provided by LDWF.  All activities conclude  around noon on Sunday.  A father-child FUN Camp will be offered April 13-15, 2012.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited and filled on a first come, first served basis.  Registration is $50 for each family (a parent and child).  Each additional child is $25.  The fee covers meals, lodging and supplies used over the weekend.  Bed linens and sleeping bags are NOT provided.

To obtain a registration form on-line, visit LDWF’s website at

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/fun-camp or contact Karen Edwards at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Whale Shark Tagging Expedition Deemed a Huge Success

Release Date: 09/21/2011

Whale Shark Tagging 1
Whale Shark Tagging 2
Whale Shark Tagging 3

Effort represents the largest number of individuals tagged at one time in the northern Gulf

(Sept. 21, 2011) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in a collaborative effort with several fisheries-based agencies, successfully tagged 10 whale sharks during two recent trips in the Gulf of Mexico.  This represents the largest number of whale sharks tagged at one time in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The tagging effort is a joint venture between the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, Mississippi Laboratories, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, On the Wings of Care and LDWF.  The team is hoping the project will reveal precious information about the little-studied fish.

“Historical information on whale sharks in the northern Gulf of Mexico is lacking,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We’ve had great success with many other fish tagging ventures and hope that this effort has similar results, providing a wealth of data to assist in the conservation of this species.”

Despite being the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark is one of the most elusive animals to scientists due to their offshore, nomadic existence.  They are extremely difficult to find outside of a few known seasonal hotspots; therefore, obtaining data on this species is extremely challenging and expensive. 

“If the tags stay on for a significant amount of time, we will learn a great deal about how these sharks use the waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico, as well as where they go in the winter time, which is still a mystery to us,” said Dr. Eric Hoffmayer, a Research Fishery Biologist with NOAA Fisheries Service, who has been studying whale sharks in the northern Gulf for 10 years.  “It is still unclear whether whale sharks are residents in northern Gulf waters or simply seasonal migrants from the Caribbean Sea or beyond.  Hopefully the data acquired from these tags will shed some light onto this research question.”

One of the most accurate and useful tools for studying whale shark movements is telemetry, which involves attaching satellite transmitters to the sharks.  Other behavioral information beyond the shark’s movements can be inferred by assessing oceanic and physical conditions around the shark. 

The satellite tags provide temperature and depth data every 10 to 15 minutes as well as an estimated position each day for the duration of the tag.  The deployment periods for these tags ranged between four to 12 months.  In addition to the standard satellite tags, three position tags were also deployed, which send real-time location estimates to the satellite when the shark surfaces and the satellites are overhead.  These tags should report for up to six months. 

Funding for the satellite tags was provided by the International Foundation for Animal Welfare and World Wildlife Fund. 

“Another important factor contributing to the success of this project and our whale shark research over the years has been the participation by the public in our Whale Shark Sighting Survey,” said Jennifer McKinney, Research Technician with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  “After receiving several reports from the offshore community about whale sharks in region, we mobilized a trip to conduct the tagging.  Due to public participation, we knew exactly where to focus our efforts and therefore had great success.”

The Whale Shark Sighting Survey can be found at www.usm.edu/gcrl/whaleshark.  The survey has been an increasing success over the years, in which the general public has been actively involved in the whale shark research program through their participation. 

For more information about this species, please reference the following: Whale Shark Fact Sheet

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

The mission of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is scientific discovery related to coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. For more information, visit us at www.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usnoaagov or follow us on  Twitter @usnoaagov.

Bonny Schumaker with On the Wings of Care, a non-profit agency, has provided aerial support for whale shark tagging trips since 2010.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113 or Kim Amendola at kim.amendola@noaa.gov (727) 551-5707.

Hunting Season Dates Revised for Camp Beauregard W.M.A.

Release Date: 09/20/2011

Sept. 20, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is announcing revised hunting season dates on Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  The WMA will be closed to all hunting from January 7-13, 2012 due to recently scheduled military activities.  LDWF is announcing the closure now to minimize any inconvenience for the WMA users.

At this time, no other closures are scheduled.  WMA users are reminded that daily military clearance is required for all recreational use.  Additionally, all or portions of the area may be closed daily due to military activities.  Contact Range Control at 318-641-3365 for information on daily closures.

Camp Beauregard WMA, located in central Louisiana near Alexandria, contains 12,500 acres and is owned by the Louisiana National Guard. The primary use is as a troop training facility.  However, the WMA offers hunting for squirrel, turkey, deer, rabbits, quail, dove, ducks and woodcock.

For more information and directions to Camp Beauregard WMA, visit the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma or contact Randy Myers, Biologist Program Manager, ph. 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov .

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ldwffb<br />
www.facebook.com/ldwffb">www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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